A moral victory, is still a victory right?

Yesterday’s game became today’s game and killing all your opponents models became a loss…

Yesterday’s game became today’s game and killing all your opponents models became a loss, but we’re talking practice here, practice. As you may have guessed Bill texted me and asked me if I could play 40K on this holiday Monday in Alberta and I ended up playing Devin again, as we showed up and were prepared, well maybe not totally prepared but I had four Nurgling Infested Objectives!

As you may have guessed our campaign has not started, but I’ve been told in no uncertain terms that the campaign that still does not have a name, the campaign for which I still haven’t painted all the models I need to paint, the campaign for which I haven’t prepared all the index cards I need to prepare, the campaign where some players haven’t even decided on their faction, the campaign for which I will once again change my starting 50 PL is going to start next Saturday. Unless of course it snows again or someone has to work.

Starting Campaign Force

There will be an official Google sheet and I will prepare index cards for all my units and I will keep a journal, not just a blog, though everyone is starting to come around to becoming Instafamous. Although you start with 50 PL of supplies, you may be forced to play 25 PL games so you need a legal and small Patrol detachment. Today I played with just 23 PL because we’re talking practice, but hopefully I learned something and the ability to take exactly 25 PL of legal Battle Forged army may be an advantage I need, to have a chance against our newest recruit, Alex with an E!

50 PL of Death Guard

  • Chaos Space Marine Lord
  • 10 Plague Marines
  • 5 Plague Marines
  • 10 Chaos Cultists
  • 5 Blightlords
  • 1 Defiler
  • 1 Chaos Spawn
  • 1 Rhino

The biggest change was to drop McFly the Malevolent my Malignant Plaguecaster for the moment. He is exactly 5 PL so he is an easy recruit, he is painted, he has been rebased and people think that is a valuable addition to a Death Guard force. This strategy will allow me to go up to the next detachment in size, because I will have 2 HQ and 3 Troops. I replaced McFly with a lowly spawn and a rhino.

Bill has an irrational hatred of rhinos, but my main troops move 5 inches. I can not win some missions without greater movement and you can mount a havoc missile launcher on a rhino so that gives me another gun that can shoot over 24 inches. The chaos spawn will not do much, eventually maybe I can recruit four more, but having something that is one power level makes math easier both now and in the future.

My suboptimal army

Today’s Army

My army list for today was simply one Chaos Lord, Maceo the Maligned whom I’m beginning to think is not optimally armed but no one else has his stick or his gun in my entire collection so that makes him special. He has also never led a major excursion or should that me incursion of the Diseased Sons. In a perfect game he won’t get stuck in H2H or get shot at much, but I do think a terminator lord or one of “the Lords of” would be better. I also had the freshly rebased Syphilis squad which already I think would benefit from more members and even more guns so that will be another early campaign requisition. Finally I had my ragtag group of cultists led by Cancerous the Extremely Naughty plus Boris the Defiler.

My Opponent’s Army

Devin once again went with his Fallen and some cultists. He changed his Lord’s armament I think he had the Black Mace and I think he boosted his Chaos Space Marines to ten models and they might have gotten a banner of some sort. Their champion had a power fist.


Campaign games require a lot of preparation and maybe even more work between games. I know I can’t keep up painting like this so I will not get the extra 10 victory points for fully painted unless we stick to 25 PL forever. Fully painted is a thing, but WYSIWYG appears not to be a thing…

Our plan today was to play campaign mission one “Sweep and Clear” and our plan going forward is everyone in the campaign will play the same missions right up until someone misses a week, then I don’t know the plan. But we will play “Sweep and Clear” next week and it won’t be practice, it might not even be 25 PL or 23 as was the case for me today.

I could have taken some Deadly Pathogens but I wanted to try my units as they would appear in the campaign.

I won some rolls, I became the Attacker, not sure that is advantageous but I got to place my newly painted objective. Devin got to go first and he got to choose sides, so I didn’t win all the rolls, nor did I make all my 4+ invulnerable or even half, but that is foreshadowing.


Devin put one of his cultist squads in the ruins with an objective, I placed my cultist squad basically diagonally opposite in ruins with an objective. He placed his other cultists in some other terrain on his opposite flank, so my left his right. I put my purple plague marines on the far side to advance on that objective. He placed the rhino on one flank and I placed my defiler whose non-standard shape may be an issue to some, over by the cultists hoping to shoot the rhino because my agenda was to kill the squad in the rhino, his agenda was to kill my lord which I forgot about, though I think I wrote it down.

Both lords were deployed last, his by his rhino and Maceo by my plague marines. They would meet and one would die.

The enemy battle line

Battle Round One

Devin got to go first so he roared a rhino up and it skidded behind a ruined building. One squad of cultists advanced and his chaos lord had a counts as jump back or something. Devin had very little shooting and did not kill a model. The mission does not let you score your primary objective in turn one so it was on to my half of the battle round. Devin used a CP for a smokescreen.

My Turn One

I moved my cultists up to the wall, they really should be armed better and I’d prefer it was a bigger squad, but 10 cultists that is weeks of painting for me, so it all depends how the campaign goes whether it happens, but I own a lot of unpainted models. My defiler actually backed up because I thought he might try to charge and I was lining up my big guns. My lord and plague marines moved 5 inches forward. I forgot to shoot with the lord, but the plague marines killed three cultists. I like the icon of better bolters. I really do think a ten strong squad of mostly bolters can work, I will experiment with different configurations during the campaign.

So at the end of battle round one, the score was officially zero zero, but I had killed three cultists so it kinda felt like I was winning, but it turns out my army is too slow to walk to the other deployment zone.

Battle Round Two

His rhino and all his chaos space marines did not pursue the cultists instead they drove towards the Nurgling Infested Objective. His rhino captured the other objective in the middle of the table. In 9th Edition you have to get out of the rhino before it moves so he decided to stay in the rhino and this time he did not use a CP to pop smoke. His shooting was once again ineffective. He did score 20 VP as at the start of his command phase he had his two objectives.

Capture the Objective, Kill the Enemy

My Turn Two

In my half of the round, I scored 10 VP as the Cancer Cell can indeed sit on an objective and hide behind a wall. They stayed put while my vintage kit bashed Defiler advanced, in hindsight maybe that was the model to run headlong at the enemy deployment zone, but honestly I brought it to give me some shots over 24 inches not to win a one hundred meter sprint. The plague marines and my Lord walked 5 inches forward, this was important as it got their plasma guns within 12 inches of something.

When everyone was on the plasma bandwagon I stuck with my meltas and flamers for the most part but I did build Syphilis which used to be able to be 20 plague marines strong and if used as a havoc squad have four or was it three plasma guns. Anyway it is a very big, very purple squad. I have another smaller purple squad, the Scarlet Fevers who have a less cool banner but maybe better champs, but for this campaign it will be the Burning Sores and Syphilis to start.

The bolter plague marines always get to rapid fire and if they are near the lord and the banner of better bolters they can roll some dice. Bolters have no AP in this edition of 40K, hence why I like meltas and my melta squad will be the next Plague Marine squad requisitioned into the campaign. As it is, they rolled a lot of dice, I did not roll any ones with the plasm guns but his lord got a fright. His Chaos Space Marine Lord has a 4+ invulnerable save and I think was in cover too, so he survived but I did do a wound.

My defiler has two blast weapons and with the split fire rule, I generally put the battle canon err Defiler Canon into the rhino and the other two guns into infantry. Last game it was the heavy bolter that did better because it always gets six shots, the havoc launch has to get lucky to get six shots, but really I built the model to get the big gun which used to be able to indirect fire. I’ll probably get some Plagueburst Crawlers eventually, but as unpurchased, unpainted models they are way down the list on what might get requisitioned in our campaign.

My cultists well two of them fired off some pot shots as cultist on cultist crime is what I’m all about. Their big gun, is not so big, but I think they need it so boosting this squad to twenty models will be another campaign and painting goal.

Battle Round Three

Devin got his Chaos Space Marines out of his rhino and along with his lord, prepared to charge my thin purple line. His two cultists in his deployment zone left cover to support them. His rhino roared towards my cultists and his unbloodied cultists were creeping around in some ruins.

He made both his charge rolls and once again the turn before I did not try to charge because honestly I think I’m supposed to take the charges and I don’t have anything that opens rhinos up, a power fist could easily happen I have several champs with one, but I’m trying to theme my squads and make them all unique and special so that is another unit to requisition, the power fist champ led Plague Marines, I think I can do two or three squads like that, but I usually just have one. Every devotee is a unique and beautiful snowflake in the eyes of Nurgle.

I did miss my plague flamers and along with my two plasma guns I can have a plague spewer and in my very first practice game I did, so that model will be pressed back into service because he looks cool and I’m the plague flamer guy apparently.

The battle truly begins

Chargers fight first so my guys took it, he killed two models in Syphilis maybe three with his shooting and charging. He also did two wounds on my lord likely with his lord. I really hope people think of names for their characters, Maceo the Maligned doesn’t just kill anybody.

I did get to fight back in H2H and I had two Plague Marines and my lord against 10 CSM and another Chaos Lord with the Black Mace. I played Trench Fighters and Creeping Blight. I like Trench Fighters it is an extra attack for each member of Syphilis which was only two attacks but hey, I was happy to be alive. I never rolled any unmodified sixes and won’t be in a hurry to use that other stratagem again, I think there are better options. Maceo of course helped them re-roll and he has the Power Maul which is odd, because it is high strength but has low AP. I did at least another wound on his Lord but the Chaos Space Marines made all their saves.

Time to release the toxins!

My Turn Three

I scored 10 VP after Devin scored 20 VP so the score was 40-20 for Devin now that I check my math, but I was alive on the right flank, outnumbered 11-3 but alive. I immediately released the toxins. I had not used any command points until Devin charged me so I was hoping my Lord would survive at least to do this. It is better than either Trench Fighters or Creeping Blight, it killed a Chaos Space Marine and more importantly his Lord.

Then in my shooting phase I played the Blightening. This really upset Devin even though I used this exact same Stratagem in our last game on his rhino. He took the card over to Bill to confirm it says what it says. Last time he was all excited to see 18 dice, this time less so. It says “Death Guard models” so my lord can be one of the three. This thinned the herd but again Blight Grenades have no AP so it isn’t that bad, but the Lord can let the Plague Marines re-roll so it was twelve potential wounds. I kept telling Devin he shouldn’t charge but he kept insisting he had to…

Also in my shooting phase the Defiler took the centre of the battle field and starting killing cultists and stripping more wounds off the rhino. My cultists advanced and actually got to use their flamer. I think I even spent a command re-roll as first try I got a one, I ended up with a three and I killed a few cultists with my shooting.

In H2H I think it went less well one of my plague marines died and I was down to just the champ who was wounded. Devin’s guys all have bolt pistols so he can shoot in H2H too, that is called foreshadowing.

Battle Round Four

This game was tight but Devin scored 30 VP because his army is more maneuverable than mine and right about now I was thinking handicapping myself by 8% of my army’s power was not so smart. His rhino drove towards the one objective I held, his surviving cultists also advanced on Cancerous the Extremely Naughty and his plucky squad including the recently escaped and recruited Purple Bootie Gang.

Did I mention his Chaos Space Marines can shoot their pistols in H2H and he has special rules too, one letting him basically rapid fire bolt pistols? He had a plasma pistol and power fist guy in there two and soon it was just Maceo all alone.

Flamer on Overwatch FTW!

His cultists charged my cultists which surprised me, but I had my flamer so I used overwatch. Even one of my non-flamer guys rolled a six. And as I kept telling him getting closer to the Death Guard is bad for your health as cultists drop to toughness two! So once again it was cultist on cultist crime, the Death Guard won, but I did get shot up before he charged and finally my pistol guys got to use their extra attack.

My Turn Four

The filth must flow

I think Maceo lived to see my half of turn four, but he did not live to see the end of the battle. I of course used Eruption of Filth, I think it killed a Chaos Space Marine. But before all that I moved my defiler right up close to his rhino. There was some debate over how big my defiler was, but honestly unless I roll double ones I should make my charge and engagement range is not 3″ so I could put some shots into the rhino as it was the only thing not in H2H. I think the other cultists got picked off earlier by the defiler.

I did not roll double ones to charge, I rolled a total of six. The Defiler Claws, now those can peel some armor, the rhino still lived but was down to two wounds and later drove towards my deployment zone objective.

Battle Round Five

Devin was running out of guys, I think my cultists had killed his cultists in H2H in the previous Battle Round, but it doesn’t matter in this mission you score the objectives you touched until the enemy touches them basically so he got another whopping 30 VP giving him 100.

I know I killed his Chaos Space Marines, the Defiler was man of the match, but the Redemptionist with the flamer, which was very difficult to assemble and I basically have no chance of painting by next Saturday managed to do almost as well, he walked over and cooked some Fallen. So the game ended with me getting another 10 VP and losing 100-40. I had unpainted models and technically Devin did not, so that would make it 110-40, but I was alive, I completed my agenda but so apparently did Devin in hindsight, so like I said it felt like moral victory and I did kill every one of his models again.

Post Game

We went to the Pig & Duke. We did not do all the proper post-game record keeping, as once again this was practice, we’re talking about practice. I’m not sure sacrificing every soldier in your army including having your warlord die because he fancies himself a beast in H2H is how you win a campaign, but I learned a lot.

I learned that saving your Command Points for when it matters can help. I learned that 10 Plague Marines is probably more than twice as good as five. It used to be people took small squads to max out special weapons, now I can’t paint enough and I’m not sure I want to buy enough special weapons to max out special weapons in every plague marine squad. I’m not sure I’ll run the five man minimalist squad but I think Sigil of Decay combined with Malicious Volley and Inexorable Advance backed up by auras and likely some melta guns and plague flamers, I mean the Chosen Sons never even got to use their signature stratagem and I don’t own a Foul Blightspawn but eventually I must get two.

Time will tell, but is the melta gun and flamer combo still be the best for Plague Marines, I will have to paint some more models and find out as I’ve yet to try the blight launcher. Finding the optimal plague marine squad or just some cool ones is my hidden agenda for this campaign. My main agenda will probably be to annoy Bill.

Post Post Game

25 to 32 to 40 millimetres

So after lunch which was at 3pm and before typing all this up I actually glued another base to Maceo. After consulting Bill and the Internet I went with a 32mm base for my Chaos Lord in Power Armor, Alex our newest recruit and probably the person to beat, says 40mm. Bill and Devin thought it would make him stand out so I am putting him on a pedestal.

I also spent about two hours building a chaos spawn. I briefly thought if it is just a base coat and I have four evenings maybe I can get my entire army painted. Two hours of cleaning tentacles and trying to glue it together later and my goal is to get this soon to be hated model painted. I want to do a good job especially on my elite Blightlord with his out of print never painted before Forgeworld bits. I also want to help Cancerous rise again, even if he got demoted.

This does not look easy to paint and assemble

Foolishly I consulted Bill again and he wants a giant skull with glowing green eyes on the base of the chaos spawn and he wants me not to dry brush the spawn, but instead he thinks maybe a blue grey flesh tone or an actual flesh coloured flesh tone would look good. I glued way too many tentacles on this spawn, all the tentacles or at least seven. I’m not even sure I can dry brush him well. So it will be Contrast paints and washes, maybe following my recent pink Nurgling recipe is easiest. After all aren’t spawn just like big Nurglings?

If you have thoughts on what colour I should paint my first ever chaos spawn or you already know the optimal plague marine squad and want to share this info, or even if you think 32mm is the one true Chaos Space Marine Lord base size you can leave a comment below. This has been a crazy hobby weekend, there may never be another one like this one until we start our Kill Team or Necromunda campaign.

Author: Muskie

Making the Internet better since 1995.

8 thoughts on “A moral victory, is still a victory right?”

  1. The campaign appears to have a name now, and a Google Drive, and a Discord channel. In other news I apparently joined Discord. The name of the campaign and it might actually mean something is The Siege of Vanithros’s Bastion. I already have VAN campaign badges so this one may be SVB in a rectangle because rectangles are easier to paint. I did some diamond campaign badges and I did one that looked like the Nurgle symbol, but the first two were rectangles and that seems easiest. I need to make my life easier, I just spent hours making custom index cards for my starting 50 PL.

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